Last week, the President nominated a woman to fill the newly vacant seat on the Supreme Court and feminists everywhere cheered. Once again, a woman would be presiding on the highest court of the land, bringing her impressive legal history and intellect to bear on some of the most consequential cases of our time. She would be an example to all our young girls of success on multiple levels.
Except that did not happen.
Oh yes, a woman was nominated to fill the seat recently emptied by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And it’s true that this woman has a distinguished legal career. Even more impressive is that she has done this while raising seven children, one of which bears the gift of special needs.
What is not true is the reaction of feminists. Where we should have seen applause from all sides that a woman could pursue career and family and thrive in both, followed by a discussion of her jurisprudence and legal history, we see only derision and mockery. To date, the two greatest charges against this Supreme Court nominee is that she has a large family and a strong faith.
Oh, and that she poses a threat to what has long been considered a poor legal decision by individuals on both sides of the political aisle. Her great fault is her commitment to the original intent of the Constitution rather than interpretations that shape it in culture’s own image. You only fear a judge like that if you know you’re already on shaky legal ground.
Abortion is the cornerstone of today’s feminism, championed as necessary for a woman to truly advance in this world. When Michelle Williams got up to receive her award last year, crediting abortion as essential to her success, she was cheered. Yet Amy Coney Barrett is smeared.
As my friend and fellow warrior in the trenches Savannah Marten said, “This is the hypocrisy of modern day feminism.”
It is not progress to continue to insist that a woman needs the “quick fix” of destroying the life inside her in order to be able to pursue the life before her. That option has long been on the books as a means for keeping victims enslaved to their abuser and destroying whole people groups.
It is not progress to condescendingly tell women they are not strong enough, wise enough, resourceful enough or plain determined enough to find ways to pursue it all, insisting that without the option to kill our young, we’ll never be able to realize our full potential.
It is not progress to continue to define womanhood by one standard, excluding and shaming others who do it differently. The great kaleidoscope of humanity bears the variety and creativity of our Creator. No one person is like another, so why must our lived stories fit a mold?
What is progress is championing strong womanhood, as expressed in a myriad of ways at home and in work. It is progress to stop telling women their “pregnancy” is the problem and instead find ways to resolve the circumstances that are really the problem, whether it’s an abusive relationship, poverty, work place discrimination or educational bias.
Perhaps most progressive in this current climate of toxicity is to first champion a woman for her daily efforts to get up and face the day with grit and grace, regardless of whether we agree with her politics. We are humans, each one covered with the fingerprints of a Designer God who intentionally crafted us while we were still in our mother’s womb. That should engender awe, for as C.S. Lewis says, “There are no ordinary people.”
Women are fierce and it is a privilege to be raising four of them. Four little women who have not gotten in the way of my dreams, but have become the dream and given rise to even more than I could have imagined.
For my working mamas and wannabe working mamas with dreams of babies or mamas with babies and dreams of work:
Do not let the current narrative convince you that to pursue one way is better than another, or that when faced with the choice between work and babies, you should always choose the former, no matter the cost to the latter.
Shaping souls and pursuing other passions and work simultaneously is difficult and full of sacrifices, but that is true of anything worth doing in this life. You will be better for the struggle – stronger, wiser, humbler and more gracious and grateful for the daily miracles.
Pay attention to who defends the woman in all her different and varied stories and who only applauds when it fits their narrow narrative, tearing down or discarding when it does not.
Soon here the world will forget what Michelle Williams was awarded and why, but the legal decisions of Amy Coney Barrett will reverberate through for years to come, touching our lives and shaping our country. Fight to measure the impact of your days and the worth of your life by your obedience to your Creator. Anything less will leave you scrambling to keep up with an ever shifting caricature of true femininity.